The 80’s won’t leave me alone…

I really do have BOOM 97.3 to blame for this. Especially whenever they do an all 80’s long weekend.

I’ve always been an 80’s music girl. My go-to music when I want a bit of nostalgia would be:

  • The Smiths
  • New Order
  • The Cure
  • Depeche Mode
  • David Bowie (though classic Bowie also comes from the 80’s)
  • House Martins

Lately, it’s been more pop-80’s music. Top 40’s. You know, the cheesy stuff.

I’ve been craving for more Platinum Blond’s “Crying Over You” and “Situation Critical”. Or “Never Surrender” from Corey Hart. Even Bryan Adam’s “Summer of 69″ has been on my mind.

Something in between the new wave/alternative and pop-dance cheese of this era would be “Take On Me” by A-Ha and of course, who can ever forget, “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds (popular also because of The Breakfast Club  – thank you, Mr. Hughes. RIP.)

The thing is, this latter list, I don’t have from my old CD collection.

[And yes, I still have a library of my old CDs. I would stop expanding this list but whenever my in-laws want to know what to get me for Christmas or my birthday, it’s a lot easier just to give them some music ideas. They don’t do the online ordering thing so CDs is what I get.]

I’m hoping to have some time over the Christmas holidays to do a bit of shopping to help build my pop-dance 80’s playlist.

Getting ready for Christmas

As rushed as I feel this time of the year, I do love it. I would start decorating right after Halloween but Doug thinks that’s too early – he believes first week of December but as I’m going on a business trip in a couple of weeks, I wanted the decorations up earlier. We compromised – last weekend in November. Just not the tree – live tree needs to go up about two weekends before Christmas. Plus the train and snow village under the tree. I wonder if one day, I’ll get my wish with a fake tree? Less messy, more humane (to trees, that is) and we can enjoy it longer.

Christmas decorationsHaving the decorations up soothes me, though. It makes me slow down when it seems impossible to do so. When I’m home, even if I’m working on my laptop until past 9 PM, I work in the dining room/living room surrounded by all the decorations. So I take mini-breaks to look around me and feel at peace.

It’s no wonder why I start reflecting this past year and how crazy it’s been. To say I’ve been on a roller coaster ride doesn’t even describe what’s been going on and I’ve come to accept that this might be the new normal for me.

A year ago, I found out I had diabetes. A year ago, I was suffering from anxiety and depression. A year ago, I thought about suicide every single day. I felt worthless, guilty and just wanted to end the pain I had no idea how to get rid of.

But then, a year ago, I re-discovered the true meaning of friendship and how the people who were there for me are those I’ll never forget and always be thankful for. A year ago, I was afraid of everything and while I’m still one big scared-y cat, I’m much stronger and have a better sense of why I am again. A year ago, I decided to make an appointment with my therapist.

Christmas decorationsI mentioned yesterday about this past year being an eye-opener as far as friendships. Nothing bad happened last year with anyone. In fact, it has been the most peaceful year as far as relationships goes. Perhaps it’s because I’ve taken the passenger seat to most of my relationships. To those that give equal effort back, I still stay in touch with. To those that haven’t been equal (and we’re talking for years and years), I’ve stopped trying.

I’m not being passive-aggressive about this decision. I’m not trying to be spiteful or anything like that. I’ve just come to the conclusion that all this time, perhaps the friendship meant more to me than it did to them. It was nothing personal (or maybe it was – I’ll never know unless they actually come and talk to me about it). And so I stopped trying so hard because whenever I never felt I was getting anywhere and that the effort in the friendship was one-way, it hurt. I felt rejected. Being who I am, I don’t think I could ever NOT feel rejected in that type of scenario. And I realized I had to stop putting myself in that position of constantly feeling rejected if I didn’t want to fall into depression anymore. As it stands, it’s still a struggle to be happy – I still have to work at it – but at least I’m in a place where I’ve found some middle-ground.

So what of those fizzled-out friendships? I don’t know. Maybe one day, things will change. Maybe those friendships will be rekindled. I don’t know. And it’s not something I can be worried about.

Christmas decorationsWhat I do know is what I have now in the present. And the people who are here with me in the present. All I can do is continue giving back to those people who gave back to me so much a year ago. Who always gave to me, to our friendship.

What I do know is to just enjoy the present and not worry so much about the future. As depressing as it is to have diabetes, it has taught me that there are some things I simply can not control.

And so, I’m thankful for these Christmas decorations. Not just for the tranquility they provide me around the house but for reminding me to live in the present and to be thankful for all that I have.

It’s been awhile

I haven’t forgotten about this little space of mine.

The usual excuse, “Life is busy,” does apply here. But at the same time, if I’m being completely honest, I think for awhile, I was just stressing myself into documenting things we did as a family (and the additional stress of adding photos to go with our weekend stories).

Not that I regret doing that – but as days, weeks and eventually, months went on, I realized I had forgotten other reasons for blogging. I had forgotten about how I used this space for other things, like from whimsical, random musings to more serious, personal stuff.

I will not try to ‘catch up’ with what we’ve been doing with our lives. I would love to, mind you, because we’ve done a lot of great things between all our work lives and Chaeli’s school life. As a family, we definitely do not waste our quality time together.

But there’s just too much to write about so if I’m going to get back to blogging, I need it to be less constricted – less rules. More freedom.

My urge for coming back here is that I just wanted to give one of my own random updates:

  • I’m nearing the end of my P90X3 program and I feel like a warrior!
  • My best friend, Ada, always believed in treating oneself to the good things in life. Why go cheap if it’s something that I really need or want? It’s taken me 41 years to get to the point where I believe I deserve those good things. I’m currently spending nothing less than $25 (sometimes as high as $50) on a good vintage, Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sterling 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley

  • It’s been a real eye-opener this past year when it comes to friendships – some are always there and some seemed to have fizzled away. The latter, I do not take personally. But have come to just accept that their friendship had meant more to me than it did to them.
  • I work hard – very hard. And I reward myself with RMT massages, reflexology massages, high-quality manicures and pedicures. I no longer feel guilty for treating myself with these luxuries.
  • The only thing I truly regret this past year was the 111 minutes I’ll never get back from watching “Magic Mike.” Oh it was horrible…
  • The more successful you become at your job, the more jealous people you encounter. Work bullies will then target you because they often target those they see as a threat. I no longer am afraid of work bullies. I don’t like them, but they can’t touch me.
  • Some days, I wake up and just wish I didn’t have diabetes. That it would just disappear.
  • As busy as I am, I have not neglected preparing for Christmas. There are a couple of things I didn’t have time to do this year but I’m still looking forward to the special day. And yes… that $50 cab-sav is being saved to go with that massive turkey.
  • To add to point two above, we will be going on another cruise. And I definitely plan to spend up to $100 on a really good full-bodied red wine to go with the best steaks ever!

Firefighter and wife dialogue

Doug had his first extrication call this past Wednesday. He had to remove two people – one from each vehicle – after they crashed into the side of a Rona store.

I said, “So this was your first excavation?”

He said, “Extrication.”

“What did I say?

“Excavation.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Excavating is more like digging.”

“Well, technically, you sort of had to dig them out of the car wreck.”

“It’s still not the right term.”

“But ‘Extrication’ is hard to say.”

At the end of a long day, this is the best I can offer as far as conversation while getting dinner ready.

Book Review – Ranger Martin and The Alien Invasion

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASIONI am extremely honoured to have a chance to read and review Jack Flacco‘s zombie sequel, Ranger Martin and The Alien Invasion. Not only do I respect Flacco’s dedication to his passion for the genre subject with all the questions and theories he posts and interacts with his audience on his blog, but it is always great to support a Canadian writer – especially a local one such as Flacco.

Let me begin by admitting that I have not read the first book in what I hope will be a series – Ranger Martin and the Zombie Apocalypse – but as promised by the author, this October 21st release can be a stand-alone read. Which it most definitely was.

Will I go back, however, to read the first novel? You bet.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am big on character development. The protagonist, Ranger Martin, is one of many characters that fulfills this need of mine. Both humorous and dark, I couldn’t help but to imagine a future cowboy (mixed with the likes of Indiana Jones and Han Solo – if only Harrison Ford was young enough to star as Ranger Martin should this ever hit the big screen), not just on a mission to protect those that have become family to him, but to kill every single zombie on this planet.

Family is a key word here. Through all the mayhem and chaos – my personal favourite is  about the relationships formed (and sometimes it is a brief relationship before one loses a new connection – a higher trend in such a world). Ranger Martin’s ‘sidekicks’ are sometimes anything but sidekicks as some (a.k.a. Matty, a fiery teen) are just as gutsy as he is when it comes to crushing zombie skulls. I’m looking forward to reading the first book so i can witness some of the early events responsible for building these relationships.

The added twist, which makes this zombie genre unique, is the introduction to aliens with a bit of government/military conspiracy in the mix. The right formula for a little more chaos.

For anyone looking for an entertaining and fun read (though with intense and graphically gory scenes as well), this book will not disappoint. Flacco’s writing style is best suited for both young adults and adults who love to geek out over the horror, light-sci-fi, fantasy type genre. The Ranger Martin series would also be ideal for a graphic novel.